CANADA – Cattle on ranches short of feed could be given pea straw in their ration now that harvesting has recently started, suggests an Alberta adviser.
Higher protein content than barley or oat straw and similar energy content make pea straw a good replacement for more expensive options.
This is according to Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist at Ag-Info Centre, who has recommended pea straw in a pregnant cow ration.
However, he stresses straw is baled “as soon as possible” to avoid picking up dirt and risking mould formation in the bale.
“Pea straw tends to be fairly fluffy when it comes out behind the combine, but quickly settles," he said. "If the straw lies on the ground too long, you could end up picking up dirt and getting it into the bale as well.
“It can be 40-60 per cent of the ration, fed alongside 8-10 pounds of grain a day to that cow.
Calcium and magnesium levels in pea straw are a lot higher than in the other cereal straws so there are less supplementation problems, but feed tests are still critical. You should include a neutral detergent fibre test in the analysis to determine maximum feed intake.”
And if peas have been treated with Reglone or glyphosate, they are both safe and can be fed to animals, he added.
Growers are reporting a third to three quarters of a tonne per acre, said Mr Yaremcio, which should result in half to three quarters of a bale to the acre.
TheCattleSite News Desk
Top image via Shutterstock